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Defending Bernie

Where Will "Our Revolution" Lead?—Gene Rothman

Why and How Progressives Must Counter Mainstream Trivializing of Bernie's Charismatic Accomplishments

Call me old fashioned, perhaps, because I pay perhaps too much attention to mainstream print journalism, but the redeeming grace that almost always refreshes my optimism, is for me always those letters to the editor all over the nation, because the Battle of the Editorial Pages goes on and on. Many of these are intelligent and comprehending, but many have begun to manifest seething turncoats and the condemnations of "fair-weather friends," and many are just boiling over with trivial advice, consolation prizes for Bernie, and spectacularly illogical conclusions.

The worst of the worst of the mainstream full-scale articles in my estimation was Nate Cohn's recent one in the New York Times, which I roundly and acerbically condemned on many many Facebook group pages.

The worst of the worst of the mainstream full-scale articles in my estimation was Nate Cohn's recent one in the New York Times, which I roundly and acerbically condemned on many many Facebook group pages.

That one was titled Debunking Idea That Win Was Stolen From Sanders. The internet title was different: Exit Polls and Why the Primary Was Not Stolen from Bernie (as if this journalist and his parent paper, the New York Times, had never even heard of the intentional criminal acts in purging of 330,000 New Yorkers, plus a whole new book of Dirty Tricks).

I didn't bother sending in any commentary as it would take more than 150 words to demolish such pusillanimous bilge, but this is what I wrote for about 50 very large and relevant Facebook Bernie Groups, reaching maybe a million readers, or perhaps equal to that of the daily New York Times:

This outrageous article in the New York Times, the new major journalistic apologist and defender for all of the electioneering crooks in NY, by focusing on Exit Polls, purposefully misses the point that the 330,000 purged voters have never been properly or even adequately investigated. The author, Nate Cohn, must be getting an A+ and maybe a big bonus from Wall Street for this reprehensible tripe, top grades for TELLING IT LIKE IT ISN'T, the new cursed under-girding of American political journalists.

Exit Polls are debatable, but a third of a million stolen disenfranchised voters? Oh, no problem, in Nate's mind: just sweep that one under the rug and the people will forget about it in due course, and not be troubled by such pesky questions. And what about those 6700 people, with at least 2000 New Yorkers therein, who signed the petition asking New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asking him to get a Federal Court order to redo the hijacked NY primary? Oh, no problem, right, Nate? Just a statistical glitch?

How about those hundreds of people who wrote the same request to Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York? The fact that neither legal official has responded? Oh, well, that must mean the requests are debunked and not worth responding too, right, Nate, to use your specious line of logic?

This can not be left standing, and if you want to mention vote "flipping," and other instances of documented fraud in any other state, go for it. It appears this reporter from the New York can't comprehend that where there is smoke there is fire: the alarms are going off all around New York, and he is telling you that these are just meddlesome tweets that needed to be debunked, so that the crooks can sleep more easily, and not worry about the eroding threads of what is left of the American Democracy.

On the other coast, today, I finally responded to the Monterey Herald and Santa Cruz Sentinel's publishing of Stephen Kessler's Open Letter to Bernie Sanders.

This open letter to Bernie was outrageous. The tone was smarmy, condescending, dismissive, and oblivious to Sanders' monumental and unprecedented accomplishments in galvanizing sincere idealistic Americans from across the nation who recognize his long overdue and eloquent solutions to serious problems faced by America. The fact that it has no comments in either the Herald or the Sentinel indicates that your progressive readers find it unworthy of comment in that it is so far removed from the verifiable political reality.

There was election fraud in 12 states, documented and soon the subject of lawsuits. This included voter purging in New York (300,000+ civil rights violations) and vote "flipping." If you don't know that term take 80 minutes and watch on YouTube the 2010 film, "Uncounted: the New Math of American Elections."

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The worst thing about his article was the conclusion that somehow Bernie will be responsible historically if he followers don't get in line behind Clinton and Trump gets elected. This is backwards, upside down, and inside out thinking that is so flawed and so contrarian that I almost have no words with which to respond.

To quote from this scurrilous and reprehensible open letter:

"Teach your acolytes that protesting is not the same as governing, and that elections matter, and that small-d democrats, even if they are to the left of big-D Democrats, respect election results and then throw their support, as Hillary did for Obama eight years ago, behind the nominee who is best for the republic.

You lost. Hillary won. It's time to declare solidarity with her to defeat the truly vile Mr. Trump. If you screw this up and cost Clinton the election by being an intransigent nag and a sore loser, you will live in history as a tragic footnote, not as the political prophet you claim to be."

This is beyond comprehension to me, especially coming from one with the many literary and journalistic credentials that Kessler has earned. By trivializing Bernie's charismatic and valiant leadership in difficult times like these in a nation facing as many problems as we have: this reduces the credibility of the author and turns him into some kind of shallow "spin doctor," having produced one of the worst examples of that branch of journalism. The king of Yellow Journalism, just down the coast from you at San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst, who started the Spanish American War with his newspapers, would be pleased with Kessler's efforts.

This was the crowning insult to Bernie: "Disorderly conduct by your people could easily help Trump prevail in November."

I do appreciate the chance to rebut Kessler's insidious condescending polemic, and can only assure him that he is not alone in such lunacy. The fact that Bernie won Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties should illuminate the truth a bit.

My favorite letter to the editor in many weeks was this one on June 25 in the Buffalo News by Dorothy Bock of Cheektowaga, NY. Maybe you have to have lived 84 years old like her to arrive at this level of wisdom and beneficent comprehension!

Many people hope Sanders won't quit

It is evident that Los Angeles Times political analyst Cathleen Decker, in her June 18 article published in The News, has difficulty keeping in check her resentment and animosity toward Bernie Sanders for remaining a player on the political scene. She clearly would like him to raise a white flag and allow Hillary Clinton to assume the captaincy of the Democratic ship without any interference or input from him. In short, she would like him to give up, be quiet and go home.

Where is her understanding of, her appreciation for and her gratitude to a fellow citizen who puts its all on the line to present to his compatriots a philosophy for governing the country that he truly believes and to which he is, and has been for decades, unalterably committed? Is she expecting that he will forget his ideas and his ideals with an, "Oh, well. It didn't work out"? To do so would be to disavow the principles of those venerated Founding Fathers who not only accepted the presentation of opposing ideas, but actually encouraged such presentation.

There are millions of us who do not want "business as usual." I hope Sanders keeps on until his own astute intelligence, keen perceptiveness and deep compassion for humanity tells him otherwise.


Stephen Fox